Goss said after the eight-week intervention, despite the recommendation to consume a weight-maintaining diet, the group consuming the very low-carbohydrate diet lost more weight and total fat mass than the control diet group.

A new study, published in Nutrition and Metabolism, from researchers with the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Nutrition Obesity Research Center observed improvements in body composition, fat distribution, and metabolic health in response to an eight-week, very low-carbohydrate diet.

Older adults with obesity are at particularly high risk of developing cardiometabolic disease such as Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Rather than total fat mass, deposition of fat in certain areas, such as the abdominal cavity and skeletal muscle, may confer this greatest risk of disease development.

The study’s lead author is Amy Goss, Ph.D., RDN, an assistant professor with UAB’s Department of Nutrition Sciences. Goss says her team aimed to determine if a very low-carbohydrate, or VLCD, high-fat diet would deplete these fat depots and preserve lean mass without intentional caloric restriction in older adults with obesity, thereby improving outcomes related to cardiometabolic disease, such as insulin sensitivity and the lipid profile.

“After the eight-week intervention, despite the recommendation to consume a weight-maintaining diet, the group consuming the very low-carbohydrate diet lost more weight and total fat mass than the control diet group,” Goss said.

Egg consumption was an important part of the VLCD prescription. Goss and her team provided eggs to the participants in this diet group and asked them to consume at least three per day.

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